Palace Defends DBM On PDAF

MANILA, Philippines --- Malacañang yesterday defended the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) from allegations that senators who voted for the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona had received Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the fund requests are made by the senators themselves.

"It's not dependent on the DBM, it's dependent on the request coming from the senators themselves," she said.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, who voted for Corona's acquittal during the impeachment trial, had said that the PDAF had been allegedly released in exchange for Corona's conviction.

"You have to remember that those fund releases are also made upon the request of the senators," Valte said.

She also noted that there are some senators like Panfilo Lacson and Joker Arroyo who do not request for their PDAF.

DBM Secretary Butch Abad had categorically denied that PDAF allocations of senators were released in exchange for votes to convict Corona, noting that PDAF allocations of 20 out of 23 senators have been released whether they voted to convict or acquit Corona.